Generational Differences in the Workplace

Generational Differences in the Workplace

Generational Differences in the Workplace

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She's the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC is a dynamic online career coach who helps individuals get clarity about their gifts and passions. She especially enjoys assisting millennials in creating authentic success in their lives through the development of meaningful careers.

Think About When You're From

Generational differences in the workplace aren't something that you might always have on the top of your mind, but they can impact you more than you may realize. How you communicate, how you work with a team, your expectations about your career path, and even the way you relate to authority figures can all be connected to the point in time that your personality and professional identity were being developed.

Understanding your generational differences, particularly how they show up on-the-job, can help you not just understand yourself more deeply, but help you work more effectively with your colleagues.

Where it All Began: Parenting Practices Across the Generations

In order to understanding generational differences in the workplace it's helpful to take a look at how parenting practices and family life have evolved across the decades. Many baby boomers born in the late 1940s into the early 1960s were raised in traditional family units, and came of age at a time that social change and revolution was in the air. Broadly speaking, this resulted in a generation of people who embrace traditional ways of being as well as personal growth and hope for the future. In the workplace, baby boomers often have a strong work ethic and excellent leadership abilities.

In contrast, Gen Xers born in the late 1960s and 1970s were raised in family systems that were much less child-focused than previous generations. Divorce rates were at an all time high, and many adults of this period put an emphasis on self-discovery, and career and financial advancement. As a result, GenX kids in the 1980s were the original “latch-key kids” often left alone without much supervision during a time when alternative music, art and culture were becoming more prominent. As a result, this generation has personality traits that trend towards realism, independent thinking, self-direction, privacy, and entrepreneurial activities — all of which manifest themselves in the workplace.

Millennials, born between approximately 1980 to the mid 1990s were born in families who were often very excited to have children, and during a cultural period in which more intensive parenting practices became the norm. Compared to other generations, millennials often had a great deal of support, attention and encouragement to develop themselves and their unique abilities. As such millennials tend to believe in their own strengths and abilities yet also desire recognition and approval from leadership and colleagues.

Baby Boomers in the Workplace

While everyone is an individual and outliers are always present, generally speaking, baby boomers have tended to be standard-bearers of work-ethic and career advancement. They have paid their dues both in time and energy, often committing long term to organizations they believe in. As such, boomers are often formidable leaders who may struggle to understand and empathize with the different values, communication styles, and attitude towards work / life balance of the generations that came after.

Gen Xers in the Workplace

Sometimes called “the lost generation” Gen Xers can sometimes feel caught between the two dominant generational and cultural forces they are sandwiched between. Gen Xers in the workplace tend to have had careers that transcend organizations; they have been much more likely to flit from company to company as opportunities arise. This has had an impact on Gen Xers advancement, both financially and in attainment of leadership positions at traditional organizations. However, the independence, flexibility and relatively high risk tolerance of Gen Xers allows them to shine when doing their own thing; many have reaped the rewards of their entrepreneurial efforts. At the same time, Gen Xers tend to be more independent and less self-promotional than both baby boomers and millennials and as a result can often feel that their contributions are not seen and their voice is not heard.

Millennials in the Workplace

Millennials are now the largest age group in the work-force, and their numbers are rising. In every organization they are involved with they often bring a fresh energy, technological savvy, and a collectivism that allows them to work collaboratively towards common goals. Often idealistic, they strive for the best in themselves and many find great meaning in using their work to make the world a better place. Millennials are often great communicators, priding themselves on their ability to stay connected. Millennials in the workforce are often champions of new ideas, and finding new solutions. At the same time, some millennials struggle with self-doubt and frustration, particularly when confronted with the harsh reality of student loan debt, housing costs, personal uncertainty, and feeling that their efforts are not paying off.

Three Generations in the Workplace Colliding… and Thriving

Today on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, I have the great honor to speak with my colleague Markie Keelan about generational differences in the workplace, and how Gen Xers, Millennials and Baby Boomers can build on their strengths. Markie is an excellent career coach who have helped people of every generation get ahead in their careers. They have a knack for helping people find their voice and learn how to communicate more effectively, and Markie is a millennial career coach who loves helping people of her generation (and others) find both meaning and success in their chosen professions.

Join us on this episode to learn more about generational differences in the workplace. We're discussing:

  • Success tips to improve communication and relationships between generations in the workplace
  • How Gen Xers can find their voice and become more active partners on the job
  • How Millennials can support themselves through difficult moments when they feel their hope flagging
  • How Baby Boomers can make space for, and appreciate, their younger colleagues
  • The cultural differences between generations, and how it impacts worldview, attitudes towards work, and communication styles
  • Tips for career development and personal growth

We hope this conversation helps you on your path of personal growth, both personally and professionally.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, and Markie Keelan, M.A.

Ps: Scroll down to get to the podcast but if you want to learn even MORE about the plight of Gen Xers in the workplace and what they can do to get ahead, check out this video interview Teena gave on the topic:

 

 

 

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Career Advice: Navigating Generational Differences in the Workplace

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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How to Deal When Your Ex Moves On…

How to Deal When Your Ex Moves On…

How to Deal When Your Ex Moves On…

Markie's mission is to help you create authentic happiness and satisfaction in your life. She supports you to create deeper connection with others, as well as actualize your life purpose. Click here to learn more about Markie.

Has Your Ex Started a New Relationship?

We have all been there… witnessing our Ex moving on without us. As both a therapist and life coach who has walked with many people through the breakup recovery process, as well as a fellow human, I know that if you're in the early stages of getting over a breakup or recovering after divorce, can feel like a flaming knife is stabbing you in the gut to see your Ex with someone else. One sure-fire way to suppress your appetite would be to take a look at your Ex’s Instagram a few weeks after breaking up. So how are you supposed to deal, when your Ex moves on?

Breakup Recovery: Understanding The Power of Attachment

First, start by understanding what’s really going on. When you're in terrible pain after a breakup, it's because you are grieving the loss of an attachment. A romantic attachment is when you feel a sense of safety, security, and closeness to another person. It’s “the feeling” that most people are looking for in a loving relationship. When you break an attachment, it's common to lose your sense of security, and feelings of loneliness and longing can set in. Breakup expert Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby does a great job of explaining how working through a break-up is like letting go of an addiction – that’s how powerful our desires to feel love can be.

So considering what’s psychologically going on – take your experiences of sadness and longing seriously. Ask yourself: “What am I doing to stop this feeling from continuing to happen?” And, “What am I doing to make sure this feeling doesn’t return again?” Healing after a breakup is an active process. Time alone does not heal.

Here are some strategies to help you move forward after a breakup:

Stop Stalking Your Ex On Social Media

One simple solution to move away from the feelings of insecurity that inevitably arise when you know that your Ex has moved on is to stop having contact with this person. Chances are you do not HAVE to follow this person on social media. And if you don’t, you should halt any communication (and or “social media monitoring”) with your Ex as soon as possible. If that seems hard – take an approached borrowed from the recovery world: Take it day by day. Don’t make any long-standing commitments to NEVER talk to this person again, but rather make the choice to not talk to them today. Tomorrow you will have the same choice and it's okay to wait until then to make a decision.

It's important to remember that your choices impact your feelings and your healing process. Take time to consider what behaviors would be the most effective for getting you to commit to ending the attachment (aka, “quitting your addiction.”) For example, clicking on your Ex’s Instagram page and reading all the comments is a cognitive choice you make. You have options. You can either choose to look at the photo with the awareness that you will continually feel bad. Or, you can choose to put your phone down and do something more positive.

Asking yourself to stop what you’re doing and put the phone down can be hard, even when it makes you feel awful. Romantic attachments are meant to pull us back. It's often more compelling to indulge in our desire “to know” even if it leads to pain. But you have the strength to make singular choices. Every time you have the opportunity to connect with that person – treat it as though that is the only choice you have to make. You don’t have to decide if you are going to talk to this person 5 years from now. All you have to do is decide what you want to do in this moment. I hope that you choose to prioritize your happiness and emotional well-being.

What to Do When You Have to See Your Ex

Here's a tricky situation: let's say you already stopped contacting this person and unfollowed them on social media but you work together or maybe you live in the same building as your Ex. That makes things a little bit more complicated. Sometimes you’re going to have to live with this other person in your life and see them when they fall in love again. So I’ll give you some steps to follow to help you cope with this especially triggering situation:

Do a Personal Inventory

On a scale of 0 to 10 of how affected are you when you see this person, “0” meaning that you don’t think twice about your past relationship when you see this person to “10” meaning that you're about to burst into tears every time you're reminded of this person. If your number is higher than you’d like it to be, we must first work on mindfulness.

Mindfulness: A Core Skill For Breakup Recovery

I describe mindfulness as the practice of observing without judgment. Mindfulness is crucial to your breakup healing process because you can feel so disjointed, confused and boxed in during a break up that you feel like you’ll never escape the grief. Mindfulness helps to regulate your emotions when you get triggered so you can listen to your rational thoughts. (And listening to your rational thoughts is key to your well-being, when you're recovering after a breakup).

If you’d like practice in mindfulness – try this grounding exercise below…

  • Take a deep breath and then breathe it all out.
  • The next breath you take, breathe in for four seconds and then breathe out for eight seconds.
  • Do this 10 times.
  • As you breathe, allow thoughts to come in and out of your mind and practice observing them without giving them meaning or power. Sometimes people can see their thoughts floating past them like leaves in a river. Practice externalizing your thoughts so that you can find a sense of peace with them.

If you already have a mindfulness practice, I encourage you to continue working towards acceptance of the present moment in your work. [Check out: Mindfulness For People Who Hate to Meditate]

Using Empowering Mantras to Heal After a Breakup

Once you feel a stronger sense of stability by grounding yourself in mindfulness, the next step is to create a helpful mantra (or three). A “mantra” is a saying that you repeat to help you with concentration on intentions. Mantras are different than grounding exercises in mindfulness. Mantras allow you to quickly focus your concentration on something else when you are triggered. You can use mantras to redirect yourself when you find yourself thinking about your Ex and their new relationship or if (God forbid) you actually see your Ex with someone new.

For example, say I’m in the grocery store and I see my Ex with a new partner. My mind may want to go directly into a panic, but as soon as I am aware this is where my brain is going (because of my mindfulness skills!) – I can then pause and say my mantra, “I made the right decision,” or “This is for the best.” Saying this to myself as much as I need to can change my perspective on the situation. My mind and emotions are no longer completely out of control. Instead, I have a plan, and a saying that helps me remind myself that I have control of myself and my thoughts right now.

Some Examples of Mantras For Break-Up Recovery:

  • I’m allowed to be happy
  • I live for the present, not in the past
  • I can and will move on

You Have The Power to Control Your Thoughts, Your Feelings, and Your Behaviors

Here's an empowering new idea: You can choose to allow yourself the freedom of only focusing on what you want for your life right in this moment. If you have intrusive, painful thoughts about your Ex, you can mindfully let them go, without judgment. You can remind yourself of what you want, instead of what you don't want through your mantras. And you can choose behaviors that support your happiness and your healing. When you are focusing on what you need, whatever your Ex is doing or not doing is irrelevant.

When you prioritize yourself, take charge of your inner experience, and intentionally create positive new experiences for yourself you can create a collection of healthy, affirming moments that you can be proud of. Lives are built of moments. When you choose your moments, you are once again back in control of your life.

I hope these ideas help you move forward, after a breakup.

Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC-C, CSPC

Denver Marriage Counselor Denver Life Coach Denver Therapist

Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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